Thursday, January 18, 2007

Working things out at the black bird

Writing about my weight problem, which to my surprise I have been enjoying, is a completely different experience than talking about it. Why is that?

Maybe it's that writing is just like talking, only without being interrupted, except by yourself. I am writing at length and at leisure and keep seeing myself say things that surprise me, things that I would have never have gotten around to say in the usual give-and-take of conversation.

I use writing to figure stuff out. I was never the kind of writer who takes dictation from the muse, the way Mozart got his tunes, direct from God and the angels. I'm more like a mathematician, a speculative geometer, working things out at the blackboard.

Not that I don't occasionally receive a gift from the ether, a verbal donnee, a word or sentence or a little bit of beat that shows up in my ear, unbidden and undeserved. This past week I've been getting more than my usual portion of those; it has been a minor meteor shower of unearned blazes of grace. I would give you an example if I could, but I can't just yet. These things are mysterious visitors; they are articulate but cryptic; they perch on the bust of Pallas squawking, repeating themselves, commanding attention, and waiting patiently to be understood.

All this is to say that I'm not just talking now; I am writing. For those who want me to change, know that that is a change, and that all the changes I've ever made have started that way.


  1. The o-word has dogged me for a long time. Thirty pounds or more overweight entitles you to be called one of the most onerous labels known: obese. At about 100 pounds overweight at my largest, I qualified for an even worse label: morbidly obese. I don't actually know exactly where the morbidly obese number is. Having lost about 45 pounds in the last year, I'm probably not morbidly obese now, but I have enough fat still to put two people in the obese category, not just one.

    That's one of the difficult things about my current situation. Yes, I've lost 45 pounds, that's very good; but everyone still sees me as a fat guy. From that point of view, there's been no change. No change!

    My motivational dream, of course, is to enter the magic land of normal and be considered "thin." I like goals and definitions that don't specify pounds. My definition of "thin": you can individually count your ribs.

    Seems impossible.

  2. I've been fortunate enough never to have been "obese" however I've easily been overweight, my whole short lived life, until now really.
    Here's how it goes, I'll put it simply.
    People always ask me, what's the magic trick? How did you lose weight?
    Really, it's simple. You like writing, but I like math (in this scenario anyway). Weight is really just your body's way of storing calories for later because we are programmed to think we're not going to eat later, possibly.
    So, here's where the math comes in. Losing weight is a simple mathematical equation. You have to burn more than you consume. And obviously you burn more when you're active.
    The "magic" really comes in when you just decide you're going to lose weight. Lots of people decide they are going to do that, for like a week. That's not deciding. You have to really decide and don't turn back.

    Wow, I said I'd make this simple and look what happens when you allow me to talk without being interupted. I went to Greece, saw it was a cultural thing that we Amercians are fat and that was my no turning back moment. Just find your moment. Cry. Get mad. Be happy. Whatever works for you. The moment is out there. Have you had it yet?

  3. That's a really good point. "Have you had your moment yet." Your moment to really decide to do it. I had mine when I got some nerve damage in my feet and I felt I was losing the ability to walk. I had my moment then, when I suddenly valued the physical abilities I had taken for granted before. Suddenly, my ability to deny the obvious disappeared. I had deluded myself for a long time in this very difficult area.


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